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Fire Suppression in Combat


There is a "raging" debate going on at BGG regarding the implementation of fire suppression in WWII tactical wargames.


I am an old Army guy, so tend to "run home to mama" and consider US Army docs when considering such things...

In my studies, I found an interesting US Army document, that does a pretty good job of documenting fire suppression and quantifying it for us wargamers. For wargame designs, it is probably the type of document that should be considered.


Very cool. Thanks for posting.  :clap:

Some tidbits from the document:

PDF page numbers 37 through 60 contain something called the "CDEC Suppression Experiment" that covers both direct and indirect fire. It has a ton of interesting tidbits with numbers such as:

From PDF page 38
"To what degree do the effects of .50 cal. machinegun fire degrade the performance of an enemy antitank gunner? When subjected to simulated .50 cal. machinegun fire, the mean tracking (productive) time of player personnel was degraded approximately 57 percent."

Also some great general discussion. For example, Army Technical Report TR-79-A19.

Excerpt from PDF Page 156

Once a fire fight is initiated, all combatants tend to take cover. The next reaction is to assume a firing position and attempt to locate targets on which to deliver aimed fire. If no targets can be detected, a normal reaction is to deliver area fire at the assumed target location. Thusly, the fire fight tends to restrict the movement of the ihdividual combatants. If one aide is able to increase its fire, the other side is forced to take greater cover, is less able to detect targets, and therefore, it less able to return fire. In this manner, one side tends to assume fire superiority and the other side is said to be suppressed. The more one side is suppressed, the less they can deliver fire, and therefore the degree of suppression increases as the opposing side is able to deliver even greater volumes of fire. In theory at least, one side could become totally suppressed, allowing the other side to maneuver freely against them. However, in practice, there is a limit to the amount of fire any one side can deliver. Weapon wear and ammunition supplies dictate some restraint. Also, unless some of the fires are lethal, the suppression will only result in a delay and not a victory. In other words, the purpose of suppression appears to be that of gaining the advantage in mobility and the ability to observe, but must be followed by lethal fire in order to achieve a victory.

Also, on PDF pages 263 to 274, there is a report titled "Weapons Effectiveness and Suppressive Fire". This has a long discussion of suppression that clearly encompasses both artillery and small arms fires.


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